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@MyFellowAtheists: How Big an Atheist Are You?

 
 
Kolyo
 
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 04:00 pm
For my part, I would say I am quite atheistic.

I meet the basic criteria for a "soft atheist" (don't call us "weak"! Smile), in that I don't believe in gods but at the same time don't assert their non-existence.

I would in fact say I am an even bigger atheist than I've described so far, because my gut feeling about gods tells me no gods ever conceived of by human beings exist.

However, I don't think I'm as much of an atheist as some of you, because I still find religious ideas and myths useful as "metaphysical second guesses". On some questions, we often have gut feelings about what the answer should be, but we also mentally entertain the possibilty that the answer may be something else. (For example, my gut feeling tells me something will go wrong with genetic engineering at some point, but my doubting mind accepts the possibility that nothing ever will.)

So sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly depressed about the state of the world, I construct what-if scenarios. If God existed, what then would that Entity want from us? When I argue with people who are defending behaviors that I think threaten either the future of our species or the future of American democracy, knowing full well that I am unlikely to make headway against them, is there some Observer taking note of my efforts and caring about the fact that I'm trying? That's why I entertain the idea of a higher power: because being able to doubt my hunch that the universe is meaningless comforts me and brings me hope.

Do you other atheists also find religious speculation interesting, or am I alone in this?
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Type: Question • Score: 16 • Views: 12,441 • Replies: 367

 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 04:04 pm
@Kolyo,
I am an atheist by definition, I don't believe in any gods. I also am a non-stamp-collector.

I don't like the label "atheist". I find it amusing how ideological people can be about not believing in any gods. I also don't like being called a non-stamp-collector... but strangely no one makes a big deal about the latter.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  6  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 04:08 pm
I am 5' 9 1/2 inches tall and have a bit of a pot belly. Probably about 190 pounds.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  5  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 04:12 pm
I neither know nor care if there is a "god." I don't, however, believe it, and see no reason to believe it. I believe, however, that i'll go cut some of that pork roast from last night and make a sammich.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  3  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 04:19 pm
Attached is a link. Pasted below are the parts that apply to me...

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Apatheism



Apatheism is a belief system whose followers don't care if they believe in God or not. These people are also known as Europeans. An Apatheist finds that no established religion, or even Atheism or agnosticism, fully satisfies him. Rather than select one he chooses to just not give a ****.

Apatheists have trouble putting faith in a specific line of beliefs. If it's a leap of faith that God can do things not in line with science, isn't it also a leap of faith that God can't? You obviously can't use science to disprove something that, by definition, defies science. No belief system can be fully proved, but for these reasons, none can be fully disproved. This falls in line with Agnostic beliefs, except a true Apatheist wouldn't have continued talking after the first sentence of this paragraph, and would instead be drinking beer, drinking wine, or drinking petrol, depending on what country they're from.

An Apatheist's core belief system can be summed up as that it's impossible to know what happens after we die, but it's already known that fresh cookies taste really really good. Everyone will know what happens to you after you die as soon as they're dead, which is a revelation that will come regardless the amount of time they spend philosophizing it. But, learning how to paint well... that's not something you're going to just eventually know, it's something you have to actually learn. Dying won't teach you how to become an engineer or expand your vocabulary. Instead of spending time thinking about something everyone will eventually know for sure, spend your time thinking about something that only a few people ever will.

Apatheists in Society

For some people who take their beliefs seriously, it can be hard to comprehend an Apatheist's point of view. They don't see how something as important as your possible afterlife in heaven or hell cannot be given more thought. Eh, that's cool. Whatever works for them. Apatheists know what they believe and it's not amazingly important that everyone understands it perfectly. Besides, there are more important things to worry about, you know, things we can actually resolve without having to die first.

That part in red above is me for sure.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  5  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 04:34 pm
@Kolyo,
Kolyo wrote:
@MyFellowAtheists: How Big an Atheist Are You?

I'm 5'7", or in metric units, 1.70m.

EDIT: Dammit, Edgar, you beat me to it! And there I was, thinking I was clever.
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 04:42 pm
Kolyo, I fit the first part of your self explanation, I don't believe, but I spend no metaphysical time a-wondering, musing, as in the second half of your post. I am sans theism though I acknowledge the world at large does have many kinds of it, and many people do good works because of and through their beliefs.
Also bad ones.

I don't like the word 'weak' either. Soft doesn't annoy me as much. Atheist will do. Someone here (Frank? not sure) tells me atheism doesn't mean without theism. It does to me.

I don't count on crystals or spiritual altars, called superstitions; I get it that superstitions comfort many, clarify life for many, can be definitive for people. My mexican neighbor brought me into her house and showed me her altar for her mother; our vietnamese friend showed us his altar. I don't make light of those. Crystals as a fad, yes.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  5  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 04:44 pm
@Kolyo,
To answer what I think you meant by your question, I am atheistic in the same sense that most adults in the developed world are a-toothfairy-istic, a-leprechaun-isictic, and a-witchcraft-istic. This is to say that although I would be agnostic by the rigorously formal terms of a philosophy seminar, I am atheistic by the common-sense terms that apply everywhere else in the world.

In other words, I am your average soft, cuddly, friendly atheist --- several believers in the Christian deity have called me a teddybear.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 05:13 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas is eminently huggable.

Maybe we need to start an Atheist Bear company..

He's among the more courteous people around, at the same time he doesn't falter re explaining where and how he disagrees with what you or someone else have said. He is one person you don't have to worry is ever bullshitting you. He also listens.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 05:55 pm
Actually, I am likely the most hard headed of a2k atheists, since I absolutely deny any possibility of gods, no matter how abstract the concept is explained by anybody else. Anthropomorphism is the term for it.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 06:10 pm
@edgarblythe,
I agree that fits.

Also, maybe, teleology, but I'd have to look up what that means again. I once liked Teilhard..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin
He was much slammed at the time.

on religion,
I'm in the "don't tell me about it" realm, in many ways. More into, what are you dealing with.

Jeez, that wiki bit noted that Benedict ok'd Teilhard. Next, can we have Hans Kung?
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 06:49 pm
One thing about questions like this that i find significant, and rather sad, is that there seems to be some expectation, even among whose who describe themselves as atheists, of some kind of fervor on the part of atheists which will match the fervor of religionists. It's as though some conscious or unconscious devotion to symmetry wants to find that atheists and theists are rigorous and perfect polar opposites. Most people whom i have met in my lifetime who describe themselves as atheists have in common that they just don't give a sh*t. It's not a part of their lives, it's not something they think about. If it were not for the interweb tubes, i could go from one year's end to the next and never think about this subject. In real life, it never comes up.

EDIT: I have had long, interesting and sometimes hilarious conversations with one of the participants in this thread. The subject of so-called "atheism" (a preeminently silly term) has never come up. I don't think we've even ever really discussed it here.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 07:00 pm
@Setanta,
Set, I think a lot of people want to be able to have a title for themselves.

I don't care either way, for myself.
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 07:28 pm
Quote:
How Big an Atheist Are You?

Right now....I'm 5 feet 7 in - a bit shorter than a decade ago when I was 5 ft 8in. I just couldn't grow any taller or I would've done it.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  3  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 08:01 pm
@Kolyo,
Kolyo wrote:
I still find religious ideas and myths useful as "metaphysical second guesses". On some questions, we often have gut feelings about what the answer should be, but we also mentally entertain the possibilty that the answer may be something else. (For example, my gut feeling tells me something will go wrong with genetic engineering at some point, but my doubting mind accepts the possibility that nothing ever will.)

Inventions always 'go wrong' at some point, don't they? Like fire can heat and cook but it can also burn you. Genetic engineering is not touching on anything sacred. It's just a new tool and yes, chances are somebody's gona get 'burnt' by it at some point...

Quote:
So sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly depressed about the state of the world, I construct what-if scenarios. If God existed, what then would that Entity want from us? When I argue with people who are defending behaviors that I think threaten either the future of our species or the future of American democracy, knowing full well that I am unlikely to make headway against them, is there some Observer taking note of my efforts and caring about the fact that I'm trying? That's why I entertain the idea of a higher power: because being able to doubt my hunch that the universe is meaningless comforts me and brings me hope.

I do that too, to motivate me do the right thing. I know it's BS but I entertain it as an additional motivator sometime, in a pascal wager's way: e.g. what IF it was true that he sees you give some change to that beggar?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 08:04 pm
@Setanta,
I agree. I don't give it much thought in real life.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 08:27 pm
I think a star system would be appropriate here.
How many stars (from one to five) would you award yourself?
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 08:34 pm
@George,
Here I am wearing my atheist medals
http://www.living-thoughts.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/02.jpg
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 08:56 pm
@George,
What start system?

Plus annoying.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2015 09:01 pm
@ossobuco,
I don't know who that guy is.

Please give a clue.

 

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